Graphic Design: Year 3

History of Design II

DES236 Design History II surveys the history of contemporary design from various historical, methodological, and theoretical perspectives. Covering a wide range of fields, including art, architecture, and interior design, as well as industrial and graphic design, this course considers objects as indices of the larger cultural, economic, and political forces that have shaped the history of modern design.

Particular topics addressed include the rise of consumer culture after the Second World War, Postmodernism, and the current fascination with “socially responsible” design. In addition, it examines individual works in depth in order to understand how they reflect the social, material, and economic imperatives that confronted the designer. After completing the Design History sequence, students will be able to identify and discuss key figures, events, and trends in the history of modern design; analyze objects and primary source materials to determine their historical significance as well as their relevance for contemporary issues; and compose clear and concise arguments for written, spoken, and “designed” communication.

Ultimately, this course aims to introduce students to the myriad ways in which design interacts with culture and society, and to provide an understanding of the evolution of the role of the designer in modern society.